The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Why bread machines are very useful for some people

Angelica Nelson's picture
Angelica Nelson

Why bread machines are very useful for some people

There are many reasons why I want to make a bread machine work in my life.  I've baked bread the long way and I love to do that. But my spine no longer wants me to stand up straight, and I get winded just walking the length of my house.  Kneading is fun and I love it, but it hurts now.  Bending over is a roulette of dizzy spells.  So having something on my counter that requires no reaching for parchment paper and pans, no preheating of oven and bending over to load/unload it, no kneading, etc... that's helpful right now.  When/If I recover, I'll go back to something more active.

There's another reason. People with Celiac disease already have enough issues with food.  Why make them go through the ritual of baking the long way when a machine could actually fulfill the duty with only a small loss of quality?  Gluten free bread is around $8 a loaf right now, near me.  It can be as much as $11 if it's an "artisan" loaf.  I've paid $15 for a local baker's truly wonderful loaf of gluten free bread.  I don't begrudge anyone the profits, but I can't do that forever. Hardly anyone can. 

And there's another reason still.  As people get older, the chances of latent Celiac genes becoming active increases.  In the US, 1 in 133 people has Celiac already active. But that says nothing about how many people have the genetics.  And because it's one of those things that activates, the elderly are the largest group of people with Celiac.  The elderly have the greatest need for gluten free, yet they can least afford it.  And the difference between baking bread the long way and using a bread machine could make the difference for someone. 

And another reason:  Not everyone tolerates xanthan gum.  But if you eat gluten free, it's hard to avoid it.  Only by baking for yourself can you fully avoid it.

So having a decent bread machine is important to a certain group of people.  That's why I'm dedicated to finding a way to get along with a bread machine, even though it does things like you see in the image above.  I literally couldn't find any advice for that sort of problem anywhere.  I puzzled it out by watching youtube videos until I saw someone do what I did and realized why that crater had formed.  But it should never have formed at all. 

I think people deserve better equipment than this.  I ended up kneading that dough by hand and that's the whole purpose of having a bread machine in the first place.  I don't expect artisan results, but I do expect that I can at least avoid the kneading part if I buy an appliance designed to do that. And maybe it's a pipe dream, but I also expect a decent manual that tells you the timings of  the kneading and rise portions of each cycle, so you can plan what you want to use.

The full blog entry is here:


doahead's picture

A friend of mine has celiac disease with type 1 diabetes. She has never had any digestive problems, but that's not what bothers her. She almost always has to cook food at home, because she buys products "without gluten and traces of it" but in fact the manufacturers may not specify that. In fact, gluten is present and her friend suffers for a month to get rid of this ingredient inside.